Skip to main content
12:30 pm
mental health crisis, these are the exact communities that are at a greatly increased risk of cardiac arrest. one of the few studies on tasers that was not bought by taser international that showed that in-custody fatalities go up 600 percent in the first year. and are you aware that tasers only have a useful life of five years or so after which they need to be scraped and repurchased. each defibrillator costs twice the money of the tasers and also like to add that the deescalation training was scaled back by the sfpd and the stated reason was lacks of funds, how do we have the money to train the force to use another weapon of violence and how can we expect the citizens to react with anything but violence in the face of a police department who models that behavior? >> thank you. next speaker, please?
12:31 pm
>> good afternoon, my name is bolder and i am with the gray panthers. and i really appreciate your holding this hearing. i'm not sure that there is anything that i want to add to the numerous things that have been said about concern with the use of the tasers. and i did... a couple of things came to mind. one is that i think that the advocacy for the use of tasers is also coming from the company that makes the tasers and makes money off of them. a second thing that i think is that it is obviously a defective tool. and it is unpredictable in its effects and we should not even be talking about buying any. and i don't know if i heard correctly, but it sounds like
12:32 pm
the police department is saying that it is not going to cost us anything because it has been a donation. that is even more sickening that some unknown entity is providing them without our having control of them through the budget. and one last thing, is to my knowledge, nobody here and nobody anywhere has complete or any follow up information no studies have been done on the physical effects of the taser on the human body or any bod yi have looked as best as i can on the closest i came was the department of justice report that admits that they don't have those studies. so that is another reason for us not even to consider using them in this city because you don't know what effect they
12:33 pm
have on perfectly innocent people. >> thank you very much. >> i believe that the donation was for defibrillators not for the tasers. >> the next speaker, please? >> good afternoon, i just wanted to make three quick points. first of all i am from iowa. i know you probably thinking what does that have to do with anything? i took the emta course in iowa. >> speak in the mic. >> i am sorry. >> i am from iowa, i took the emta course in iowa. which was a year-long. to be able to go into the emt d program which was the problem to use the defibrillator you had to go through the basic training to be able to get into the defib and it was another
12:34 pm
nine-month course. i'm thinking how are we going to train police officers in a short time to be able to use them effectively? >> another thing is i wish that i would have brought the article to bring copies for you gentleman and lady. >> on the places that have done away with tasers because of malfunctions. and if you would like the article that charlie wrote i would be happy, i could send that to your facebook accounts and another one that i am going to make real quick is i have an autistic child and we have been talking about mental health illness and drug addiction, we
12:35 pm
have not covered all of the people that would be affected by this. my friend kerri described autism as, excuse me, i get... when it comes to my son. is putting somebody in a different country where they cannot speak the language or know the customs. and if he was in a position where he ever had altercation with the police he would not know what was going on and i am sure that he would be tased. >> thank you. i have to give everyone the same amount of time. but thank you. >> next speaker, please? >> thank you. i am phil mastercola and i am a volunteer with the coalition of homelessness and i appreciate you bringing this issue here and appreciate very much the fact that you are asking the questions in trying to
12:36 pm
determine where the issues are here, i think that the people that are bringing this issue of temporary tasers for the limited number of officers are inflating these issues and they are different. health and safety. and i think that the issue about weapons, belongs in the safety department. and the training of officers, i have a question, i have no idea are officers trained to use guns, lethal guns in a non-lethal way? >> that would solve the problem >> they developed the cit training and i think that nearly ten years ago and it has not been implemented by this department. nor by anyone else. except for apparently there is a separate city team that
12:37 pm
handles mental health calls for mental health issues. the department of emergency services recently reported to us over or scanning the number of years back that almost a third of the calls involved mental health or other behavior issues, the kind of issues that the chief or the commander talked about. that is a big problem. one-third. i would like to plant an idea in your minds. why not take these millions of dollars that are being, proposed for weapons, more weapons, which are lethal, 766 people died. and take the money and enhance our mental health... we don't ask the officers to do, you know, surgery or to do... other things we call... >> health emergencies.
12:38 pm
thank you very much. >> next speaker, please? >> hi, i'm jennifer freedombach the director of the coalition on homelessness and wanted it thank you for this. i want to start off by talking about a frightening scenario, san francisco police department has proposed that they insert probes into the muscles of the people experiencing psychiatric crisis and shoot them with 50,000 volts of electricity at 3 amps. and i don't know how that makes other human beings feel but it makes me feel physically sick. i wanted to also talk about the crisis intervention team which is currently unfunded, and has been mentioned not fully implemented. in fact, had not been implemented ten years ago when it was passed at that time.
12:39 pm
the police commission directed last year that a team response be developed so people experiencing psychiatric crisis this has not happened. the 20 to 25 percent of the responding officers be trained, it has not happened. that 911 has protocol to contact the team, and relay specific information to them. not happened. and the supervisor, that is trained in cit be on the scene and that supervisor develop the tactical response before the police respond? not happened. that the officers incident data is kept and analyzed not happened. that it force is used to the community review occurs, not happened. >> none of these would cost money and has been pointed out tasers would cost money if you talk about the training and the training on using the cart rages and all of this will cost significant resources. deescalation works.
12:40 pm
it works every day in san francisco. it works at psychiatric emergency service and social service agency and drop in center and door alley and west side and other places we did a comprehensive review of the tasers of the literature. >> please continue briefly to finish up. >> and we looked at all of the studies that had been done the last time that this came around. what we found over and over again is that the tasers increased fatalities. there were some that mentioned that it decreased. fatalities every one of those studies were funded by taser international. of the independent studies not funded by the people profiting off these weapons, they found things like the 2009 ucsf study that the deaths more than doubles in the first year and the following years the number
12:41 pm
of shootings decrease but stayed above what it had been before tasers and this seems to be the trend, when tasers are introduced they are a new tool, it is exciting and get used a lot. and when that initial excitement levels out it is not decreasing fatalities. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> are there any other members of the public who would like to comment? in this hearing? and seeing, none, come forward we will close the public comment. we want to thank the members of the public for being here and taking part of in hearing and sharing their thoughts and concerns and their expertise as well. it is critical that we hear especially from folks who work in the neighborhood that probably have the highest incident of mental health crisis in san francisco where we would see the greatest deployment of the cit team and where if they were equipped with tasers would would see the highest incidence of use as well.
12:42 pm
i don't to call back up commander ali and or commander korea. i want to thank you for your presentation and for being here. and want to give you a moment to be able to respond to any particular thing that you heard from public comment. and anything that you would like to add. in the environment and which our officers have to work. i think that it is incredibly important and i want to leave a
12:43 pm
quick note that we have trained, one of the best trained departments in the country identifying with the mental health and in 2001, we began the initial training of 40 hours of 40-hour training for each officer in the mental health awareness, the deescalation building and that went from 2001 to 2010. that was done in conjunction with the mental health board and the members of our department were trained and provided that training. in 2010, i believe, when the chief came on and we began having the discussion about adopting a different model. adopting a key to dealing with individuals in crisis and we looked at other agency and looked at memphis who had the model and in place for some time and partially adopted that model. today as i indicated on top of
12:44 pm
the 983 members that were trained over the last ten years, we have trained since the last year, 118 of our own and some of other agencies. the work is significant, and we have over a dozen entities both public and private involved in each one of the trainings. and so therefore, the coordination of the efforts has to be done in line with their ability of each one of those organizations to provide the in-kind service and not to over tax and as a result, we are doing that once a quarter, i think that it is incredibly reasonable to do that. 160 officers will be trained in the patrol force. and we are moving on.
12:45 pm
the discussions are supporters and moving the cit forward and i leave with you with this. this is not about in and off itself, mental health, this is about all officers engaging with people in our community who are, whose ability with a threat to the public. so in each one of these where the former chiefs have brought this to bear it has been precipitated by a tragic event and quite frankly, our officers we want to stop having to use deadly force. the calls of service will not imulate from the professionals who are dealing with the person who constitutes the threat. it is about dealing with the aggressive behavior of folks that is threatening to the public that we have ko contend
12:46 pm
with and not necessarily it is an issue, with that said, i thank you for having us, and the chief is moving forward, with the level of community engagement that are going to follow in january, february, and i believe that march and all the way into april. where we are out reaching to the community or the weapon systems that are less than our firearms and we are definitely get back to you and be open to further discussion on the issue. and thank you, commander, and what i would like to be able to do is we have a hearing today was really on the use of tasers, but, as we are preparing for this hearing, it seemed like there was a lot of
12:47 pm
work that the city is doing and the police department is doing around the crisis intervention teams and i would like to go a step further in the new year to look at that and see how we are hitting our stride in the crisis response within the department and in putting this team together and the training that is really necessary for us to do the kind of policing that we know can deescalate the crisis that people find themselves in. i see it separate from the issue of tasers and electronic control weapons. it is almost like we are backwards in training a team to be able to deescalate violence and mental health crisis, and at the same time equip them with a tool that if used could have a detrimental effect on the deescalation, and also, it could open a door for, you know, greater usage within the department. that is my personal concern.
12:48 pm
and it has been a lot of people in san francisco share, i think that you can go out on the road in san francisco, and you can find a lot of people who are going to give, you know, license to the department to move forward on that. i think that as moving forward, i think that it is really important to look at the part of san francisco that probably experiences the greatest concentration of mental health crisis that we have that would be the neighborhood in district six and work well with the community to see what you are hearing from them on the issue. and i think that is something that will be really critical of moving forward. i worry that, you know, we are being too critically and look at how he can ploy the tasers where we have not been able to work on developing the response that we can do in the department that we are going to a cliff that we don't need to
12:49 pm
reach and that we have not put in the resource and that is why i want the training moving forward in the new year and i have concerns that we moved to a pilot program for tasers that they will respond and i do that they become employed and that there is a greater instance that the studies have found in the officer-involved shootings and the use of tasers i hope that the police commission and the command staff really consider well, you know, the concerns that are the have been expressed here from the community and from the members of this committee. >> and we do. thank you.
12:50 pm
>> okay. answer questions? >> no. just... did you want to speak? >> sure, actually, this might be a great opportunity commander rich carer will be taking over the crisis intervention coordination in the coming years, so what perhaps he can offer a few words. >> i will be brief. i have taken a lot of notes today and i look forward to ex-expanding and doing what i can to add some value to the great work that has already been done and i hear a lot about the memphis model and i leave today hoping that in bodies like this around the country they will be talking about the san francisco model in a year or two i think that i can add some value in that connection.
12:51 pm
and so i am looking forward to working with the folks, many of them that i have met today and i have five pages of notes and so the comments were heard well by me. and i want to thanks him, he is not only worked closely with him and he is my friend and when the chief asked that i take over this work, i jumped right in and working to bring me up to speed on everything and that i see myself as much a steward of his good work as i am bringing my own value to the operation. >> thank you for your service and looking forward for the hearing in the new year. supervisor olague? >> i just wanted to thank the commander for all of his work and at least the initial spaces of implementing this cit program, so i want to thank you for all of your work with that. thank you. >> and you know, so, i just
12:52 pm
want to also hope that we can get beyond the embryonic phase and see how it can work effectively to further the information around the use of compassion and kind of when you are reaching your hand in the tool box it is one of compassion and that sort of intervention as opposed to one of actually using an additional weapon and trying to deescalate the issues. >> and as michael from the mental health association says that this is a program that just has not been fully implemented and i think that once it is that we will find that that really sufficient and somebody mentioned of the use
12:53 pm
of methyl weapons that is not the conversation to have here today and i am wondering that in some of these crisis interventions why thank you foe all of your work on this and your work on the community and other issues because i know that it is well respected. >> thank you. thank you very much. ali, colleagues could we have a motion to file this item? >> so moved. >> and we will take that without objection and we can move on to our next item. number two. >> item number two, resolution urging the department of the status of women to develop and share materials on domestic violence with city employees city contractors and grantees.
12:54 pm
>> thank you. supervisor mar is the sponsor of this resolution and we would like to give the floor and the mic to him. >> i just wanted to say that this is a simple and straight forward resolution, that will insurance that the department of the status of women and other departments really raise awareness about domestic violence and scraoe ate a safer workplace. i am really glad that emily, the director is here but i know that the policy director ann leman will be giving the presentation along with gene who is the senior employee assistance counselor employee assistance, and there is a number of other speakers at public comment that will present on the resolution, is straight sfo ward forward and going to urge and direct the department to develop materials there is already a great body of materials right now, but to develop further materials about what employees, including the department heads and managers should know about domestic violence and how to, for
12:55 pm
example, how to spot, signs of domestic violence in the workplace. we are working on other legislation that will come later on the status of women but this is one piece that will help to raise awareness of all city employees and also, contractors that work with the city as well. and it also asks the department or the commission on the status of women and their department to work with other city departments to distribute such information to employees contractors and grantees and other organizations including non-profit and businesses. with that i wanted to thank emily for the work on this and to acknowledge the policy director an leman. >> i wanted to thank you for sponsoring this legislation and hopefully that other supervisors will join in your
12:56 pm
efforts i will introduce ann and thank the staff of the department of status of women to always be there for the commission and this very important issue and hope that it will help all city employees to be made aware of domestic violence. thank you, again. >> ann policy the director for the status of women, first i want to explain what i am standing up here and not dr. emily, morase. >> last night we had a dynamic meeting on the status of women and the police commission, a first but not a last about some of these issues and as a consequence, dr. morase's voice has given out. so i am here with meranda to thank you, supervisor for
12:57 pm
putting this forward
12:58 pm
i think that is really important to repeat. 68 offenders, in a study by maine in a maine group on domestic violence in 2004, 68 offenders said that this would help to prevent domestic violence. >> i think that is really significant. and i have no issue with the underlying resolution, i think that we need to site where. >> and i have that. >> we can make an amendment today that we don't have it today to bring it for tuesday so
12:59 pm

December 6, 2012 12:30pm-1:00pm PST

TOPIC FREQUENCY San Francisco 7, Us 5, Iowa 4, Maine 2, Memphis 2, Ali 1, Jennifer Freedombach 1, Charlie 1, Panthers 1, Cit 1, Kerri 1, Ucsf 1, The City 1, Leman 1, Korea 1, Emily 1, Tasers 1, Ann Leman 1, Olague 1, Dr. Morase 1
Network SFGTV
Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 89 (615 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color